Hob fantasy image hob icon

Welcome to HoB's Children & early adolescent:
literacy, literature, media, & language arts pages ...

This page links to information for literacy through literature in different media and ways to communicate. Defines literature, and surveys quality literature in different genre through the use of story elements .... across history. Includes tools to faciliatate literacy, language arts and literature, as a subset of literacy through a love of learning, and critical thinking with the use of outstanding literature, mostly as it relates to children's literature.

Media, literature, literacy for all

Information for professional development, curriculum development, definitions and models for literacy, literature, media, children's literature, information related to children's responses and development of literacy with literature, quality literature, benefits of literature, literacy and ELL and ESL, art, music, theater, and learner developmental responses.


Professional development - reflection- metacognition

Tools for general activities

See - genre and story elements for activities with a focus on genre & story elements.

Pre Reading Activities - may be continued during and post

While Reading Activities

Post Reading Activities

Plans & activities for specific pieces of literature

History - of children's Literature

History includes a

  • Timeline of children's literature and noteworthy events related to communication, media, literature, and literacy as can be considered as prerequisites necessary for children’s literature to germinate. And a
  • History section with a
    • Brief history of the development of communication, media, literature, and literacy, from which children's literature is embedded, to consider how they combine to create what is and isn't considered children's literature yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
    • Historical research suggestions & ideas.
    • And references for historical pieces : First story? - Gilgamesh, Top 5 checked out library books, Bayeux Tapestry, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, The Butterfly's Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast, McGuffey Readers, Early Writings in America, & early alphabet comparisons.

Story Elements

Elements of Story include setting, point of view, characters, tone, style, theme, and plot. They have traditionally been associated with fiction. However, they are useful to readers and viewers for any media and genre with a story. The more experience a person has with them, the greater their understanding and enjoyment of literature.

As learners experience stories they begin to conceptualize the elements of a story as they relate to the story. The more experiences they have with stories, the greater their ability to use story elements to perdict, understand, remember, critically analyze, and evaluate them. Which will increase the quality of their transactions with different stories and in turn increase their appreciation of quality literature, necessary to sustain a life long enjoyment of literature.

Resources to help develop understanding story elements, what they are, how they are used in different genre, and how they may contribute to the quality of a piece of literature.

Classification of literature

Literature can be classified by how the story is communicated, its genre, and the media in which it is communicated.

How the story is communicated

  • Oral - told or spoken by mouth. ballads, myth, joke, folktale, fables, comedy routines, music, poetry, theater, ...
  • Prose - written text or spoken word that is not poetic or have rhythm. Within prose, is traditional literature - stories which have historically been defined as stories that were originally told orally - fairy tales, folk tales, fables, myths, amd legends, ...
  • Poetry - communicates an intensity of ideas and emotions with the use of imagery, rhyme, rhythm,
  • Visual media - fine arts, picture books, graphic novels, dance, ballet, video, theater, movies, music,
  • Mixed media - - includes any combinations of oral, prose, poetry, and visual media. Picture books, graphic novels, video, theater, online materials ... often include a mix of media. Examples include - Skeleton Creek series. Philadelphia Chickens


Genre is a category of artistic composition, in literature or other media characterized by similarities in story elements and subject matter decided by social conventions. It is classified narrowly and broadly.

  • Broadly as: nonfiction (true stories) or fiction (made-up stories). And
  • Narrowly as autobiography, biography, graphic novels, ballet ...

As well as different combinations of genre or types of media: concept books, picture books, anthologies ...

Consequently there are a lot of genres with overlapping or focused characteristics that make classification challenging, to say the least. 

Why bother?

The short answer is, like story elements, knowing characteristics of each genre helps readers and viewers to better understand and appreciate a literary piece and literature in general.

Therefore, the more a person knows about the differences, the easier it will be for them to understand, learn, critically analyze, appreciate, and create literature along with others who create it.

Below we explore different media with examples of genre and how story elements, within them, help define the genre and how to use story elements and other characteristics to analyze the quality of a particular story within that genre and across multimedia.

Printed media tools (books) &
Genre with its elements & quality charateristics

Fiction - its story elements & quality characteristics

Nonfiction text or illustrated

Nonfiction - its story elements & quality characteristics
Nonfiction are stories which are true. While it would seem fiction and nonfiction might be unique genre categories there are pieces of literature that mix the two (historical ficton).

Poetry as a genre

Poetry includes nursery rhymes, verse, ballad, epic, lyrics, narrative poem, poem, song, & rap - literature with rhythm and verse, which communicates an intensity of ideas and emotions with the use of imagery, rhyme, and rhythm.

This link includes - elements of poetry, quality characteristics, & sources of excellent poems, along with ways to encourage learners to listen, read, and created poems, which can help facilitate literacy and a love of quality literature.

Mixed genre

Art, drama, & creative movement
Mostly non textual media

Art includes various creative activities in a variety of media: painting, sculpture, music, literature, dance, theater, reader's theater, photography, video, pantomime, role plays, improvisation, story dramatization, puppetry, theater attendance, play reading, analysis, rehearsal/performance, puppetry, ...

Information here includes all of these and can apply to some books.

It's interesting to wonder the beginnings of different kinds of art. When does gestures and movement become dance and drama; when does speaking, crying, tapping, become song and dance; when does scratches on tools, cave walls, pottery, and other natural objects become art; when does thread and other natural objects sewed into materials used for clothing become art? Should we only consider sculptures, drawings on parchments, paper, and other surfaces art? Review the literacy timeline and technology, science, and math timelines to explore the little we know.

Whatever artifacts we consider as the beginnings of art, today we use multiple media to tell a story or create art to express our selves.

While not all forms of art include books, some books include artistic pictures, photographs, and assorted media. Others may reference or include music, dance, theater, or screenplays. Therefore, it is essential to understand, analyze, and evaluate art to be literate.

Visual art
  • Visual art includes - elements of visual art, five visual arts approaches to critically evaluate visual images, picture book critique ideas, suggested books to critique, links to tools for: Comic books, graphic novels, & manga
Music - Vocal, instrumental, popular, rock, classical, country western, rap, jazz, blues, bluegrass, folk songs
  • Music - tool box includes list of elements of music, resources, activities, assessment checklist for music elements, rubric for music elements, genre related ideas, children verses: The Bear Went over the Mountain, Itsy Bitsy Spider.
Drama, Theater, Film, Video, Pictures
Dance - creative movement
  • Dance - Elements of dance, glossary of dance terms, activities: Native drum dance, videos with dance to critique, ballet, elements of dance introduction across grade levels, & resources


Outstanding literature & media resources

Outstanding literature & media resources includes:

  • Award lists for medal winners & runner up for Newbery, Caldecott, C. S. King, & audio books.
  • Organizations that support quality media and literature for young and early adolescent learners.
  • Organizations that publish children's magazines.
  • Literature references books
  • Electronic research sites
  • Research articles.
  • Recommended book lists:

Language arts

Concepts & outcomes (curricula indicators) for language arts: reading, writing, spelling, grammar, visualization, speaking, and listening


Integrated language arts -

Literature book study for The Mitten by Jan Brett - Uses a language arts integrated planning template that integrates the six subject areas of language arts: listening, speaking, viewing, visually representing, reading, and writing.



  • Process - prewriting, drafting, editing, revising
  • Conventions - grammar, spelling...
  • Fluency - Always a lot of ways to write a sentence, but one or two ways will sound better.
  • Ideas - the heart of the paper expresses ideas clearly, holds the paper together, has meaning focus and detailed exploration of the topic.
  • Organization - Road map of the paper. Details should help lead and develop the conclusion. Use good transitions and give the paper purpose and structure.
  • Voice - personality of the writer, gives the paper a sense of special flavor and uniqueness.
  • Word choice - Use verbs that are active powerful and energetic that paint a memorable picture in the reader’s mind.
    Plus one + - presentation
  • Genre - six genres descriptive, expository, journals & letters, narrative, persuasive, poetry.

Writing pedagogy information

Writing Samples

Writing rubrics or scoring guides


Big picture of reading

Dimensions of reading

Print (early elementary)
Phonics - phonological, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic

Fluency includes - three dimensions are (accuracy in identifying sounds), automaticity (automatic processing), and conversation tone, rhythm, metaphors, analogies, (prosody).

  • Fluency - how to assess fluency: method 1 & method 2, how to assess prosody, prosody scoring guide, prosody checklist, stages of fluency development, instructional ideas

Vocabulary & word analysis includes semantic relationships, context clues, word etymology, using and relating new vocabulary to prior knowledge…, Skill - determine meaning using print and digital reference, spelling, abbreviations, prefix, & suffix


Comprehension - Literal, inferred, emotional / aesthetic

  • Comprehension overview and instructional strategies - descriptions of comprehnsion, text, reader, context, the activity, comprehension strategies, effective fix up strategies, suggestions to guide students through books, reciprocal teaching, comprehsion skills or reading skills, ineffective strategies, suggestions base on research

Instructional samples

Grammar and spelling

Speaking skills and Listening Skills

  • Analyze information
  • Communicate information
  • Develop information given or spoken
  • Apply information
  • Find information when necessary
  • Reciprocal communication
  • Develop apply and adapt communication skills






Everyone is a source.
How do you determine:
What is credible?




  • 52% believed a video - that claimed to show ballot stuffing in 2016 Democratic primaries, was strong evidence of voter fraud in the U.S. It was actually shot in Russia.
  • 66% of students couldn't tell the difference between news stories and ads labeled  sponsered events on a news site's homepage.
  • 96% of students did not consider why - ties between a climate change website and the fossil fuel industry might lessen the websites credibility.

Source: Stanford University 2019 evaluation of 3,446 high school students in urban & suburban schools in 14 states.




Albert Einstein said,

"It is a grave error to suppose that the joy of seeing and seeking can be furthered by compulsion or sense of duty."



Reading comprehension tests attempt to give a score for the taker that rates their ability to read a particular passage and determine the accuracy of what the author meant to communicate within a predetermined period of time.